January 1, 2009
[efoods]Federal Reserve officials are considering a proposal to schedule limited sales of bonds from the central bank’s $2.2 trillion balance sheet as part of a range of tools for withdrawing record monetary stimulus.
The Federal Open Market Committee discussed asset sales at its November meeting, with some members in favor and others warning that it would cause “sharp increases” in longer-term interest rates, according to minutes of the meeting released Nov. 24. A middle route now being studied would allow small amounts of bonds to be unloaded at announced times.
“The attitude toward asset sales is changing in terms of more in favor and more open minded, and doing it very gradually,” said former Fed Governor Laurence Meyer, vice chairman of Macroeconomic Advisers LLC in Washington. Devising a plan for pulling back stimulus “is under way intensively on the Federal Open Market Committee,” he said.
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